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Book of the Month

The Modern Fairies - Clare Pollard

Versailles, 1682: a city of the rich, a living fairy-tale, Louis XIV's fever dream.

It's a place of opulence, beauty, and power. But strip back the lavish exterior of polite society, and you'll find a dark undercurrent of sexual intrigue and vicious gossip. Nobody is safe here - no matter how highly born they are. No one knows this better than Madame Marie d'Aulnoy.

Each week, a rogue group of intellectuals gather at her Parisian home to debate, flirt and perform Contes de Fées - fairy tales - that challenge the status quo, at a salon that will change the course of literature forever. But while they weave tales of glass slippers, enchanted beasts and long-haired princesses, a wolf is lurking, who threatens to destroy the members of the salon one by one.



Meet the Author

Clare Pollard was born in Bolton in 1978 and currently lives in South London with her husband and two children.  She is a Doctor of Letters, having received an honorary doctorate for her services to literature from Bolton University.

Her first collection of poetry, The Heavy-Petting Zoo (1998) was written whilst she was still at school, and received an Eric Gregory Award.  It was followed by Bedtime (2002) and Look, Clare! Look! (2005), which was made a set text on the WJEC A-level syllabus. Her fourth collection Changeling (2011) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and her latest is Incarnation (Bloodaxe, 2017).  Her pamphlet The Lives of the Female Poets is published by Bad Betty Press (2019). Her poem ‘Pollen’ has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Individual Poem for 2022.

Clare has supported herself by working as an editor, journalist and teacher.  She was editor of Modern Poetry in Translation – co-founded by Ted Hughes – for five years, and is poetry editor for The Idler.

Photo credit: Sophie Davidson.

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